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A fresh liver agar substrate for rearing small numbers of forensically important blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

May 7, 2015

Forensically important calliphorids can be reared on a mixture of beef liver and agar. Small pieces of meat, especially fresh or frozen beef liver, will desiccate in 2–6 h, but this simple-to-make feeding substrate remains moist for at least 12 h at 25 and 30°C without desiccation, even in small (5 g) amounts. We determined the survivorship of small numbers of Chrysomya megacephala (F.) (first-instar larvae to adult eclosion) raised on 5 g of liver agar and fresh beef liver. We found that all larvae raised on 5 g of liver died due to desiccation, but survivorship on 5 g of liver agar was equivalent to that on larger (50 g) pieces of either liver agar or beef liver.